Presentation on theme: " A vulnerable church still in its infancy. Pulled from their cultural & historical roots. Inexperienced in the “The Way” Persecution was beginning…"— Presentation transcript:
A vulnerable church still in its infancy. Pulled from their cultural & historical roots. Inexperienced in the “The Way” Persecution was beginning…
Dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen. You, too, must be patient. Take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near. Don’t grumble about each other, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. For look—the Judge is standing at the door! James 5:7-9
For examples of patience in suffering, dear brothers and sisters, look at the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. We give great honor to those who endure under suffering. For instance, you know about Job, a man of great endurance. You can see how the Lord was kind to him at the end, for the Lord is full of tenderness and mercy. James 5:10-11 (NLT)
In Tough Times… Suffering No patience Fighting Senseless Defeat !
“For instance…Job” “Great endurance” What makes it possible? “The Lord is full of tenderness and mercy.” We Forget:
There once was a man named Job who lived in the land of Uz. He was blameless—a man of complete integrity. He feared God and stayed away from evil. He had seven sons and three daughters. He owned 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 teams of oxen, and 500 female donkeys, and he employed many servants. He was, in fact, the richest person in that entire area. Job 1:1-3 (NLT)
6-7 One day the members of the heavenly court came to present themselves before the Lord, and the Accuser, Satan, came with them. “Where have you come from?” the Lord asked Satan. Satan answered the Lord, “I have been patrolling the earth, watching [over] everything that’s going on.” “Satan, who is the god of this world…” 2 Cor. 4:4 “Satan, who is the god of this world…” 2 Cor. 4:4
1:8 Then the Lord asked Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth. He is blameless—a man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil.” “Not everyone loves your kingdom!”
1:9-11 Satan replied to the Lord, “Yes, but Job has good reason to fear God. You have always put a wall of protection around him and his home and his property. You have made him prosper in everything he does. Look how rich he is! But reach out and take away everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face!” Job 1:12 “All right, you may test him,” the Lord said to Satan. “Do whatever you want with everything he possesses, but don’t harm him physically.” So Satan left the Lord’s presence.
1:20-22 Job stood up and tore his robe in grief. Then he shaved his head and fell to the ground to worship. He said, “I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!” In all of this, Job did not sin by blaming God.
2:3 Later… God said, “he still holds fast his integrity. ” 2:4-5 Satan replied to the Lord, “Skin for skin! A man will give up everything he has to save his life. But reach out and take away his health, and he will surely curse you to your face!” 2:6 “All right, do with him as you please,” the Lord said to Satan. “But spare his life.”
Intense Suffering: certain in life. Job: a very ancient concern. › Probably the first book of the Bible › Doesn’t solve it… › Resolves it… › Surveys the timeless options
Option #1: His wife said to him, “Are you still trying to maintain your integrity? Curse God and die! ” But Job replied, “You talk like a foolish woman. Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?” So in all this, Job said nothing wrong. Job 2:9-10 (NLT) The “Curse God!” option… Common enough… Not brilliant “Like kicking a tank..” -Ravi Z Why is the first choice, “…DIE”?
Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar 2:12-13 When they saw Job from a distance, they scarcely recognized him… Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and nights. No one said a word to Job, for they saw that his suffering was too great for words. Option #2: Silence Possibly their wisest moment
Option #3: Eliphaz 4:15-16 “A spirit glided past my face, and the hair on my body stood on end. It stopped, but I could not tell what it was.” (NIV). Option #3: “Follow your own god…” True? False? Imaginary? Real? A loving Creator would never abandon us to such darkness… Fear is the path to the dark side…
Option #4: Eliphaz Continues… 7 “Remember now, who ever perished being innocent? Or where were the upright destroyed? According to what I have seen, those who plow iniquity And those who sow trouble harvest it. 9 By the breath of God they perish, And by the blast of His anger they come to an end. (NIV) #4 – Bribe God Wrong: ‘good’ people suffer too! Wrong: God did not cause this!
Option #5: Job Complains 6:4 For the Almighty has struck me down with his arrows. Their poison infects my spirit. God’s terrors are lined up against me. Don’t I have a right to complain? Don’t wild donkeys bray when they find no grass, and oxen bellow when they have no food? 24 Teach me, and I will be silent; And show me how I have erred.
Option #5: Job Complains 13:15 Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face… 18 Now that I have prepared my case, I know I will be vindicated... #5 “I Deserve Better!” Appeal to justice
Poor Reactions Curse God Silence Create-a-God* Bribe God Complain God’s Turn 38:1-3 Then the L ORD answered Job from the whirlwind: “Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words? Brace yourself like a man, because I have some questions for you, and you must answer them. * i.e., like “Build-a-Bear”
38:4 “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you know so much. 5 Who determined its dimensions and stretched out the surveying line? 6 What supports its foundations, and who laid its cornerstone as the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?
38:31 “Can you direct the movement of the stars— binding the cluster of the Pleiades or loosening the cords of Orion? (NLT) 34-35 “Can you shout to the clouds and make it rain? Can you make lightning appear and cause it to strike as you direct?
39:1-2 “Do you know when the wild goats give birth? Have you watched as deer are born in the wild? “Do you know how many months they carry their young? Are you aware of the time of their delivery? 39:10f Can you hitch a wild ox to a plow? Will it plow a field for you? …Can you rely on it to bring home your grain and deliver it to your threshing floor?
40:1-2 Then the Lord said to Job, “Do you still want to argue with the Almighty? You are God’s critic, but do you have the answers?” 3-5 Then Job replied to the Lord, “I am nothing—how could I ever find the answers? I will cover my mouth with my hand. I have said too much already. I have nothing more to say.” 6-7 Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind: “Brace yourself like a man, because I have some questions for you, and you must answer them. “
40:8-9 “Will you discredit my justice and condemn me just to prove you are right? Are you as strong as God? Can you thunder with a voice like his? 40:10-14 All right, put on your glory and splendor, your honor and majesty. Give vent to your anger. Let it overflow against the proud. Humiliate the proud with a glance; walk on the wicked where they stand. Bury them in the dust. Imprison them in the world of the dead. Then even I would praise you, for your own strength would save you.
…behind His back! It is easy to criticize God …when God’s not asking the questions. It is easy to know it all
42:1-6 Then Job replied to the Lord: “I know that you can do anything, and no one can stop you. You asked, ‘Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorance?’ It is I—and I was talking about things I knew nothing about, things far too wonderful for me. …I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes. I take back everything I said…
Did God zap Job? Does God smash His critics? Did God wipe out the opposition? 42:10-12 …the Lord restored his fortunes. In fact, the Lord gave him twice as much as before! …So the Lord blessed Job in the second half of his life even more than in the beginning. Then he died, an old man who had lived a long, full life. Job 42:17
You, too, must be patient … Take courage, for the Lord is near… Don’t grumble about each other… There is great honor to those who endure James 5:11 You can see how the Lord was kind to him at the end, for the Lord is full of tenderness and mercy. “But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and he will stand upon the earth at last. Job 19:25